The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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Page 88 of 136

88  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2014 CENTRAL COAST TASTING NOTES I attended the Savor the Central Coast event in Paso Robles in September. Here are notes on some of my favorite wines poured at the event. See also "Blue Reviews," page 74, for reviews of Giornata Wines. ADELAIDA Cellars 2011 Syrah, Block 5 Reserve, Anna's Estate, Paso Robles ($55) Juicy and rich with deep blackberry and spice; plum and cassis; chocolate and vanilla oak; long and lush. 92 ADELAIDA Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Viking Estate, Paso Robles ($75) Vivid with bright plum, black raspberry and spice; silky and crisp with lovely acid structure; ripe and layered, long and generous. 93 Booker Wines 2012 White, Paso Robles ($50) Golden color; packed with com- plex flavors of ripe fruit and minerals; long and intense. 67% Roussanne, 25% Viognier, 5% Marsanne, 3% Petit Manseng. 92 Booker Wines 2012 Fracture, Paso Robles ($70) A suave, silky Syrah with ripe, intense blackberry and spice; vanilla oak, deep and long. 94 Booker Wines 2013 Ripper, Paso Robles ($70) A stunning Grenche with spicy, ripe and juicy flavors and a long, complete finish. 93 Caliza Winery 2011 Syrah, Paso Robles ($54) Bright blackberry and hints of vanilla; deep, meaty and balanced with spice box and lovely fruit; long and dense. 93 Caliza Winery 2011 Cohort, Paso Robles ($54) A unique blend (58% Syrah, 16% Petite Sirah, 16% Tempranillo, 10% Mourvèdre) with meaty texture and lots of ripe blackberry depth with a rounded finish. 92 Booker (Templeton Gap) Caliza (Willow Creek) Denner (Willow Creek) Epoch (Willow Creek) Falcone (Creston District) Giornata (El Pomar District, Adelaida District) Jada (Willow Creek) Linne Calado (Willow Creek) Niner (Templeton Gap, Estrella District) Rangeland (Adelaida) Thacher (Adelaida, Willow Creek) The Farm Winery (Adelaida) And a few of the most exciting among the more established wineries: ADELAIDA (Adelaida) DAOU (Adelaida) J. Lohr (Estrella, El Pomar, Adelaida Districts) JUSTIN (Adelaida, El Pomar) Tablas Creek (Adelaida) Fueled by bright and hard-working young vintners, the region is turning out an eclectic selection of varietals and blends. Because of the variances of microclimates, a number of varieties that don't normally do well in the same places are producing stunning examples. Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties do well, while Rhône varieties—Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Marsanne and Roussanne—do brilliantly nearby. There are also promising plantings of Tempranillo, Tannat, Carmenère, Vermentino, Aglianico and Nebbiolo. Paso Robles has become so heavy with enological activity that on October 9, 2014 it was divided into 11 separate viticultural areas (see map) that splits the region's 614,000 acres (by contrast, the Napa Valley AVA contains just 225,000 acres) into zones that share temperatures and rainfall amounts. For example, the Highlands District east of town is a warmer climate IV (good for Cabernet and other Bordeaux varieties), while Templeton Gap, south of town, is a cooler climate II (better suited to Syrah and Grenache). It is difficult at this stage in the development of the area to pinpoint specific producers, but I will take a stab at it anyway. For me, these are the most exciting, up-and-coming vintners in Paso. Each is followed by the sub-appellations in which they are found or from which they primarily source their Paso-grown grapes. In October of this year, the Paso Robles AVA was subdivided into 11 sepa- rate sub-AVAs, based on meso-climactic, geological and historical informa- tion which highlight each individual district to be unique as a wine grape growing area. MAP COURTESY OF PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE COHORT

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